U.S. and World Headlines
Where Things Stand On A Potential Israel-Hamas Hostage Deal
The Biden administration is anticipating a breakthrough on securing the release of dozens of hostages who were violently kidnapped by Hamas from Israel on Oct. 7.
The U.S. is involved in intensive negotiations alongside Israel to recover an estimated 240 people who are being held under an information blackout — proof of life, living conditions and health status all unknown and unconfirmed.
“President Biden and the team here [are] doing everything we can to help get the hostages that Hamas took, get them released, including young children and, of course, Americans that are in that pool,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Monday.Read More
Food Aid For Low-Income Mothers, Babies Becomes Spending Flashpoint
Congress’ failure to include extra aid money for low-income moms and babies in last week’s spending bill sets up a potential showdown early next year.
At stake: whether the government will have to begin turning away large numbers of mothers and their children from the program, known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, breaking with decades of precedent.
Unlike other federal nutrition programs, WIC funding has traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, with Republicans and Democrats committed to ensuring every eligible mother and baby who applies for the program can receive benefits. That consensus is now fraying, with House Republicans pushing to pare back WIC spending this year, arguing tough cuts are needed across the government amid the nation’s mounting debt.Read More
America's Homebuyers Are Older Than Ever - With The Median Age Now 49
The average American homebuyer is now 49-years-old - 18 years older than in 1981 - as inflation, college costs and house prices make it harder for young people to get a foot on the ladder.
Research by the National Association of Realtors has revealed that the median age of all homebuyers has steadily crept up over the past forty years.
The most shocking contrast is for first time buyers where the median age is now 35, up from 31 in 2013 and 29 in 1981.Read More
Elon Musk's X Sues Media Matters For America
Elon Musk's X Corp. sued Media Matters for America for defamation on Monday after the left-leaning nonprofit released a report on ads on X running next to pro-Nazi content and helped trigger an advertiser exodus.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas Fort Worth Division, alleged the organization's tactics were manipulative and deceptive.
X CEO Linda Yaccarino, who has received messages from marketing leaders pushing for her to resign, defended the company in a statement on Monday.Read More
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‘Israel Is Not Our Friend’: Neo-Nazis Salute Hitler In March Through Wisconsin Town
A neo-Nazi group of around 20 people marched through this Midwestern capital city on Saturday morning brandishing black-and-white swastika flags, chanting “There will be blood” and saluting Adolf Hitler.
The group wore shirts labeled “Blood Tribe,” identifying them as members of a white supremacist group that the Anti-Defamation League says “openly directs its vitriol at Jews, ‘non-whites’ and the LGBTQ+ community” and “aims to usher in a resurgence of Nazi ideas and ultimately build a white ethno-state.” The group was founded two years ago and is based in Maine, where its founder had hoped to build a compound, but has adherents elsewhere.Read More
Wisconsin Supreme Court To Hear High-Stakes Case Challenging Legislative Maps
Wisconsin’s supreme court will hear oral argument on Tuesday in a high-stakes lawsuit seeking to strike down the maps for the state’s legislature. The result could bring an end to what may be the most gerrymandered districts in the United States and upend politics in Wisconsin.
The case, Clarke v Wisconsin Elections Commission, could bring an end to more than a decade of Republican dominance in the Wisconsin legislature. In 2011, Republicans drew districts for the state legislature that were so distorted in their favor that it made it impossible for them to lose their majorities. Last year, the state supreme court implemented new maps that made as little change as possible from the old ones when lawmakers and the state’s Democratic governor reached a redistricting impasse.Read More
Appleton Sex Offender Sentenced To 15 Years In Federal Prison For Child Pornography Possession
William B. Bowers (age: 42) of Appleton, Wisconsin, was sentenced to 180 months in federal prison by Senior United States District Judge William C. Griesbach.
According to court records, in 1999, Bowers was convicted of two counts of Second-Degree Sexual Assault of a Child in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. Bowers was sentenced to 20 years in state prison and ordered to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.
On February 5, 2020, after being released onto supervision, Wisconsin Probation and Parole Agents were contacted by a concerned individual who observed sexually suggestive websites bookmarked on Bowers’ computer. The following day, a search of Bowers’ electronic devices revealed that Bowers was active on numerous illicit websites and social media applications, in violation of the terms of his state supervision and his rules as a lifetime sex offender registrant. Further investigation revealed that several of Bowers’ devices contained child sexual abuse material.Read More
Evers Vetoes $2 Billion State Income Tax Cut, Calls Republican Plan 'Completely Unserious'
Gov. Tony Evers on Nov. 20 vetoed a $2 billion Republican tax cut bill, calling it “completely unserious.”
Evers’ veto was expected, as he opposed the GOP plan from the moment it was introduced as a substitute to the Democratic governor’s own workforce development package. Evers has previously vetoed a similar income tax cut passed by the Legislature.
Republicans don’t have enough votes, without help from Democrats, to override the veto. Lawmakers are not scheduled to return in session until mid-January.Read More
Wisconsin Democrats Introduce Bills To Address Climate Change
Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin introduced a package of bills last week to increase job opportunities in environmental sustainability, climate change and energy efficiency across vulnerable communities.
If passed, legislation from that package would establish a Climate Corps program to provide employment training and career pathways in climate resiliency and restoring natural lands.
The package includes a total of 20 bills that would allocate nearly $10 million toward renewable energy efficiency projects and work with the Department of Workforce Development to create a green jobs training program.Read More